Dahal, Nidhi at odds over Fast Track deal

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 3, 2016-

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and his deputy Bimalendra Nidhi, who is the home minister, are at odds over the construction modality of the Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track.

The project courted controversy after the Sushil Koirala-led government got an Indian company to carry out a feasibility study while the successive KP Oli-led government decided to construct it with Nepal’s own resources.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal recently claimed that the idea of Nepal constructing the Fast Track on its own was floated by him when he chaired the high-level coordination committee in the earlier regime. However, DPM Nidhi on Thursday said the project should be given to an Indian builder.

Speaking at the meeting of the International Relations and Labour Committee of Parliament on Friday, Nidhi, who contracted the Indian firm for the feasibility study when he was the minister for physical infrastructure and works, accused the opposition CPN-UML of creating hurdles in implementing the project.

PM Dahal, during an interaction with some activists on Monday, said that he had never thought of allowing any foreign company to construct the Fast Track.

The Oli government’s announcement that Nepal would build the road on its own had generated much debate, with some arguing that it would be difficult for Nepal to handle the mega project.

Nidhi said he had not discussed the Fast Track with Indian leaders and officials during his recent visit to the Indian capital. “If we apply the Build Operate and Transfer model, it is going to be a profitable project.”

A case has been registered in the Supreme Court against getting an Indian firm to develop the project.

Published: 03-09-2016 09:11

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